Get answers to frequently asked questions at Alaska Family Sonograms.


If you don't see the type of exam you need listed on our website please give us a call to see if we can perform it. There are certain types of exams that don't necessarily fit into a specific category.

When someone is talking about getting an ultrasound or a sonogram they are typically talking about the same thing. The actual difference is ultrasound is the frequency range of sound used to create the image you see on the screen. A sonogram is the exam itself.

Yes. There must be a medical reason to submit an insurance, Medicaid, etc. claim for this exam. We need a referral from your healthcare provider to be able to perform the exam.

No. At AFS, we are a fully capable medical ultrasound diagnostics practice. Our sonographers are well trained, well credentialed and highly experienced in the ultrasound evaluation of a wide range of problems affecting various parts of the anatomy. From the thyroid gland and carotid artery in the neck to the sensitive organs of the abdomen and pelvis, doctors have relied on us for diagnostic excellence through ultrasound for more than 15 years. And their patients routinely count on us for the understanding, sensitivity, support and compassion that have helped us become the choice of so many for thorough, accurate exams and reliable results.

Exam results are typically faxed to referring physicians the following business day after your exam. In time-sensitive circumstances or if there are significant findings that may require urgent attention we will call your provider immediately at the end of the exam as well as fax them a preliminary report. This ensures your provider has the information as soon as possible to provide you with the best care.

No. Ultrasound is merely an effective way to “see” inside the body and examine important anatomy without an invasive procedure. Unlike other medical imaging modalities, ultrasound (sonography) does not use radiation, radio waves or magnetic fields. Instead, ultrasound works much like sonar, using high-frequency sound waves that produce echoes. As those echoes travel back through different tissues at different rates, a computer converts those differing rates into different tissue representations onscreen. This allows us to see structures… while exposing your body only to harmless sound waves.

We accept all insurance carriers and are a preferred in-network provider for most insurance carriers. Click here to see the complete list of insurance carriers.

  • We treat every patient with kindness and compassion.
  • Our highly trained staff works diligently with unsurpassed commitment to accurately obtain the very best diagnosis.
  • AFS has been performing diagnostic ultrasounds for over twenty years.
  • We have same day appointments for those circumstances that just cannot wait.
  • Our clinic is certified through the American College of Radiology.

After your exam is over the sonographer who performed your exam will create a report listed all the details of the exam. Our radiologist will then look at the report, all of the images obtained, and any other information provided and provide the findings. These findings will be included in the report that is sent to the referring healthcare provider.

Typically we have the final report finished by early afternoon of the next business day. If the referring provider is needing results sooner we can give them preliminary findings by calling them directly after the exam is finished or faxing a preliminary report. A 'stat read' can also be arranged if requested by the provider in advance.

The typical way for us to provide images to your provider is we will give you a CD with your exam images on it which you can then give to your provider. In the event that your provider is not local and you are needing to give them fast access please call us and let us know and we can go over other options for making the images available to them.

No your ultrasound exam should not be painful. The only thing you should feel is the slight pressure of the ultrasound probe pressed against your skin as the sonographer performs the exam.

The duration of the exam varies based on the type of exam however generally speaking around 30 - 60 minutes.

One of our registered diagnostic medical sonographers will perform the exam. Afterwards one of our board certified radiologists will interpret the exam images and provide an impression of the exam stating the findings.

Preparation Instructions

Some types of exam require no preparation while others have specific preparation requirements. See the below FAQ's for specific types of exam. If you do not see your type of exam listed then no preparation is needed.

For this exam, you need a partially filled bladder. Drink two 8-ounce glasses of water (must be noncarbonated) 30 minutes before your appointment. Do not empty your bladder after drinking.

This exam requires a partially filled bladder. Thirty minutes before the exam, drink two 8-ounce glasses of water, and don’t empty your bladder until after the exam.

For this exam, it’s important for the baby to be awake and moving. So eat 20 minutes before your appointment.

Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours prior to your appointment.

Forty-five minutes prior to your appointment, drink three 8-ounce glasses of water. Unlike some other exams, you’re free to empty your bladder as needed.

It is recommended to wear a mid to low cut and loose fitting shirt or top so there will be sufficient access to your neck. If you do happen to wear something that doesn't provide good enough access we will provide you with a gown to change into for the exam.

Obstetric/Pregnancy Exams

Absolutely. We have introduced many parents to their unborn child through the use of sonographic images and video. You will receive printed images and you will be sent a link (via text or email whichever you prefer) that you can access your exam at as well. We recommend you access your exam from the link and download the images/video so you can permanently keep them as the link will remain active for two months.

The gender of your baby can be determined if requested. The optimal time for this is 18-20 weeks into the pregnancy. However, we do not perform an exam only to determine a baby’s gender. We feel every baby deserves a complete and thorough sonogram.

If you are wanting a copy of your exam images/video we can send you another link to access them, just give us a call to request this.

For more information or answers to your other questions, call Alaska Family Sonograms at 907.561.3601. You can also schedule an appointment by calling, or you may request an appointment using our easy online form.

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